AUSTIN — A judge from Oklahoma was arrested Sept. 11 in east Austin, and he now faces charges of reckless driving and deadly conduct of discharging a firearm.
Judge Brian Lovell, who lives in Waukomis, Okla., works at the Garfield County Courthouse in Enid, Okla. He was nearly 500 miles from his home when the incident occurred. It’s unclear why Lovell was in Austin.
According to the arrest affidavit, Lovell fired shots into at least five cars at the intersection of Matamoros Street and Santa Maria Street. Several cars were hit. Witnesses at the scene told the Austin Police Department a man in a white SUV was seen leaving the area.
APD got a second call of a road rage crash that was nearly two miles away, near the intersection of East Seventh Street and North Interstate Highway 35 Service Road, court documents said. According to the report, Lovell slammed his white SUV into the back of a woman’s car. The two reportedly got into an argument, and Lovell “intentionally” hit the woman’s car a second time and attempted to push her vehicle into oncoming traffic, according to the affidavit.
APD found a gun and magazine in Lovell’s SUV. When they questioned the judge, he reportedly told officers he “did not know why he would have shot his gun and could not recall any part of the shooting incident.”
Lovell was sworn in as a special district judge in Garfield County, Okla. in January 2011. He was promoted to associate district judge in January 2023. His long-time colleague, Judge Paul Woodward, spoke to KFOR. He said he wanted to know all the facts before commenting further but said he “had a lot of respect” for Lovell. Woodward said Lovell has not presided over any cases since the incident.
It will be up to the Oklahoma State Supreme Court to hand down any disciplinary action against Lovell.
(KFOR contributed to this report)